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Cody’s 2018 Base Build: Block 6 Recap

Post Series: Cody Waite

I made it (along w/ 40 other athletes I’m training in our 2018 S:6 Base Build Program)! 

The sixth and final block of my off-season Base Build has been completed. 24 weeks of progressive building of fitness over the off-season has brought my Base fitness to a solid platform for my 2018 season. Now it’s time to race! Of which, I’ve already done with the Epic Rides Whiskey Off-Road event last weekend (full recap here). 

You can get the full explanation of Block 6 (and others) in previous posts. The gist is that we bring the energy system chain to a peak, with our heaviest weight lifting attempts and peak-power “sprinting” intervals on the bike. The concept with our Base Build Program is to start on the low-end of the energy system spectrum with basic aerobic & skill development. From here, each block takes the athlete through progressively higher energy systems as fitness builds: Aerobic Threshold, Anaerobic Threshold, Vo2 Max, Anaerobic Power, and finally Peak Power. Along the way we build off-bike strength & power in the gym, and endurance with longer outdoor rides within the week. Read about it all here.

GYM SESSIONS

After the first strength peak in Block 3, in Block 4 we reduced the weight lifting volume (number reps) significantly to allow for more stability and plyometric work. A second low-volume strength build was included in the routine and I was pleased to continue to make strength gains despite the slight change of focus.  

I was able to increase both my max Squat & Deadlift by about 10% over January maxes. Reaching 200 lbs. (from 185) and 225 lbs. (from 205), respectively. These both matched my previous all-time PRs in the lifts from 2015. Pretty stoked. Also eager to maintain this strength through the race season, so I can continue to improve my strength in 2019. Overall, I’m feeling strong & healthy going into my racing season. 

STRUCTURED RIDES

On the bike it was Sprint time! Now those that know me, know that I can’t sprint out of a wet paper bag. Never have, and never really will. A clear weakness! So while sprint training is not something I enjoy (or do much of), I do like the efforts for a few weeks each season this time of year to at least give it a go. 

With my improved strength off the bike, and a little technique work, I did see some minor improvements in my top-end power….

    • Max 0:10 power of 795w (outdoors)

    • Max 0:05 power of 935w (outdoors)

    • Peak “max” power of 1373w (indoors)

I’m not planning to win any sprints any time soon, but rather increase my “starting point” of power production on the bike. The higher I can get it, while maintaining a low Fatigue Rate, the faster I get across all energy system power outputs. This was seen in improvements in my recent power test, including a PR 1:00 power (more on that below). 

ENDURANCE RIDES

I was able to hit some long rides during this block, but due to weather and traveling a bit, they were more of an “every other week” kinda thing. I did get some bigger ones in to the tune of 6+ hours twice and 5 hours twice over the block. Everything else was more in the 3-4 hour range. I feel that with my endurance background I don’t need to do a lot of long rides (especially like I did in my younger days). I can now rely on that lifetime base and know that with just a few long rides I can be ready for most racing endeavors under 4 hours. 

FINAL TEST OF BASE BUILD

The last week of the program, week 24, was a lighter week of recovery and testing. Results were promising and indicated proper adaptation to training loads….

• 20:00 Aerobic Threshold Power @ 150 bpm : PR! This was unexpected, confirms I’m adapting positively to training load.   

  • Test #1, November:  238w
  • Test #2, January: 256w
  • Test #3, March: 264w
  • Test #4, May: 281w
  • (Recent “Best” from Summer 2015:  274w)

• 1:00 Max Power : ALSO a PR!  This one I can believe a bit more. Peak strength & Peak Power training will do this for sure

  • Test #1, November: 499w
  • Test #2, January: 505w
  • Test #3, March: 526w
  • Test #4, May: 561w
  • (Summer 2015:  529w)

• 2:00 Max Power : Not a PR, but getting there. Looking for one at the end of June!

  • Test #1, November: 380w
  • Test #2, January: 403w
  • Test #3, March: 438w
  • Test #4, May: 449w
  • (Summer 2015:  454w)

• 4:00 Max Power : Not a PR, but continued improvement. Looking for one at the end of June!

  • Test #1, November: 324w
  • Test #2, January: 340w
  • Test #3, March: 364w
  • Test #4, May: 377w
  • (Summer 2015:  382w)

• Fatigue Rate : Up a bit. Not surprised as the focus on training was the top-end, trying to reach a high point of power

  • Test #1, November: 8.7%
  • Test #2, January: 8.17%
  • Test #3, March: 7.84%
  • Test #4, May: 8.2%
  • (Summer 2015:  6.9%)

• This calculates an FTP of…

  • Test #1, November: 247w (3.70 w/kg)
  • Test #2, January: 263w (3.89 w/kg)
  • Test #3, March: 292w (4.34 w/kg)
  • Test #4, May: 292w (4.43 w/kg*)    *lost 3 pounds 
  • (Summer 2015:  308w (4.71 w/kg))

All power numbers were up across all four test intervals, but estimated FTP remains the same. This is due to the increased Fatigue Rate; from a substantially increased power at 1:00, and lesser so increased power at 2:00 & 4:00. (ie. starting out strong, then slowing down as durations increase). Not surprised as this last block of training was focused on maximizing the high-end powers. As I enter my Race Prep phase of training for my target: Leadville 100, my peak strength & power will inevitably decline as my endurance (fatigue resistance) will increase. This in turn will lead to a reduction in Fatigue Rate along with an improvement in estimated FTP.

Read full testing protocol info here.

CONCLUSION

Base Build is complete & successful in returning me to some solid fitness and form to start off my Race Prep block for the year. Fitness appears to be just behind a recent peak in August 2015… and it is only May!!

From here, I will test my fitness with a couple of early season races in the Epic Rides Whiskey Off-Road in Prescott, AZ & USAC Marathon National Championships in Arkadelphia, AR. I’m feeling pretty fit, so these races should make for great tests. Then from there, it will time to get focused on a progressive Leadville 100 Race Prep Build. Along the way I will tackle several more races of the XC & Marathon variety as part of my build up for an August Peak. More details to come on my Race Prep plans.

Looking forward to racing  and continuing to build my fitness for 2018! Thanks for following along.

 

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Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Sessions:6 Sport Performance. Looking for help with your endurance sport training? Check out S:6’s Training Plans, Team Programs, and  Personal Coaching options created to fit your needs and budget.

 

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